Reports of the execution of the young Iranian Zeinab Sekaanvand on 2 October 2018 prompted Dr Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, to issue the following statement today (2 October):
I am shocked about the execution of the young Iranian Zeinab Sekaanvand. She was just 17 years old at the time of the alleged offence. There are serious doubts as to whether due process standards were complied with in the proceedings against her.
Just like the European Union as a whole, the Federal Government is opposed to the death penalty whatever the circumstances. At least four people who were minors at the time of the crime have been executed in Iran this year, and many more are on death row. These executions must stop.
Iran has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which prohibit the execution of individuals who were minors at the time of the offence.
I therefore urgently appeal to all those responsible in Iran to immediately stop carrying out death penalties.
Zeinab Sekaanvand Lokran who was 24 years old at the time of her execution was arrested in 2012 at the age of 17. She confessed to murdering her husband, to whom she had been married at 15 and at whose hands she had suffered mental and physical abuse. She revoked her confession during her trial in October 2014 but was still sentenced to death. Reports drawn up by human rights organisations indicate serious procedural deficits.
In 2015, she married a fellow prisoner and became pregnant. Her execution was postponed until after the birth. On 30 September 2016, she gave birth to a stillborn child. The execution was then scheduled for 13 October 2016 but was initially not carried out due to international protests.